Each year there are free movies shown at parks around Chicago, the largest venue being Grant Park, not far from where I work (I pass by it when I bike in).
Tonight it was The Blues Brothers. A Chicago Movie being shown in Chicago, and hey, it's a fun flick. The films start at sundown, which tonight was 8:44 pm. I'd taken the train in, and didn't want to hang around in town until the movie, as my animals wouldn't get fed. So home I came. If I was going back in it would have to be by bike, because taking the train would probably take to long. I wavered (nice, comfy house), but in the end decided to get my butt in gear and head out. I had 75 minutes before show time. I penned the cats in one side of the apartment so the rabbits could have some out time, fed everyone, and headed out.
Because I was cutting it close, I was pedaling much harder than when I bike to work. Then, I find a good comfortable pace and maintain it. Tonight, I had a head wind, I stood on my pedals the entire way, and I sucked wind big time. It was fun.
Locking my bike to the water fountain (the only place not covered in bikes), I walked onto the grass just as the opening credits rolled.
I had to change my place one as there was a noisy family, and another woman and I ended up shouting at a group that decided to leave when it portended rain - but instead of leaving just stood in a big sight-blocking clump. *sigh.*
But it was good fun, and we all got into it. I have to say, seeing it now, I don't think it's a particularly good movie. The cameos are fun and the music is great, but the pacing is slow and the dialogue drags. This was not John Belushi's finest acting hour.
Still, I had a great time, and when the rain came pouring down I hurried to my bike, thinking I'd bike to the red line El at Jackson. I got there to find it was closed to northbound service due to ongoing construction, and I'd have to take the elevated tracks. I decided to just bike it; I was soaked already, so who cared?
I hit the bike trail in warm rain, with lighting flashing in the distance. The path was fairly clear and it was a nice night. The rain stopped and I flew along the wet pavement, through puddles, singing bits of the songs from the movie.
When I turned off the bike path by my old street, I saw the usual teens hanging by the El station. Gotta say, I don't miss that. Riding down Thorndale I saw two boys fighting. After making sure they weren't just goofing around, i called 911 on my cell and reported it. By that time a third had joined in. Nice.
Continuing north, I came to an intersection where I cross under the El tracks to dogleg to another street. I saw a dead pigeon lying on the ground under the bridge. There are a lot of pigeons at this bridge, so while sad, it wasn't all that surprising.
Then I saw the fledgling lying in the gutter. Alive.
And another one a little further up in the gutter, also alive.
It was not a great area, so I locked my bike and tried to find a safe place to put them. I'd assumed the dead bird was their mother but it was possible one of the birds lined up above watching me was. I hoped so.
There was no good high place to put the birds, so I located a spot across the street among some trees and bushes. It wasn't ideal, but it was better than the gutter.
I picked up each struggling, cheeping bird, making two trips across the street to the shelter of a tree trunk where it grew by the wall. this caught the attention of Passing Disheveled Creepy Guy, who fortunately didn't seem to understand what I was doing. I was preparing my quick "I'm not a kid, I'm a grown woman and I will rip your nuts off and feed them to you" speech, but he kept his distance.
The birds may be old enough to survive on their own; I'm not sure. I'm thinking of going back tomorrow on my way in to work to nail a basket to a tree to give them better protection. Nature can be harsh, sometimes. But those poor little things were so helpless, sitting there in the streetlight, that I had to do something, even if it was find them a nicer spot to die.